Know When To Say “No” to DIY

The DIY movement has taken the world by storm in the last decade. Outlets like HGTV have opened homeowners’ eyes to the wonders that can be wrought with a bit of creativity and a coat of paint. While most homeowners can take on a ton of aesthetic upgrades to their homes, it is important to recognize that some things are best left to professionals. Here are a few critical projects that DIYers should resist tackling on their own.

Water Damage

Water damage in the home causes deterioration of floors and walls and leads to the growth of potentially dangerous molds. Even a small leak that has gone undetected over time can cause serious issues. Larger events such as burst pipes or weather events are certain to cause problems.

Homeowners should have any water-related issues assessed by water damage and restoration professionals. They can assess the extent of the damage and determine the necessary steps for water damage restoration.


Small tasks like replacing the flapper in a toilet tank or installing a new faucet are achievable by most handy homeowners, but more complex plumbing tasks should be left to the pros. Leaks in pipes can lead to major structural damage that will cost a lot more to repair than the initial plumber’s visit costs. Not to mention the very real risk of electrocution while working on pipes that inevitably run close to electrical wiring.

Electrical Work

It is not an overstatement to say that faulty electrical work can be deadly. Even simple projects like replacing a light fixture can be dangerous without some basic skills. Does the homeowner know they need to shut off the electricity, not just the switch, before they do the work? Do they know how? Do they know what a ground wire is?

Serious accidents happen when homeowners take on electrical projects that they don’t fully understand. Fire departments are called to address fires caused by electrical issues nearly 50,000 times a year. Electrical work can be expensive, but the price of faulty electrical work is too high to gamble with.

Wall Removal

The home renovation shows make this look simple, but any mistakes here can be disastrous. Most people know that they should never try to remove a load bearing wall, but few know how to determine whether a wall is load bearing or not. A mistake in this case is disastrous.

Even if a wall is proven to be non-load bearing, taking it down is still not a simple matter. Walls can house electrical wires or plumbing that the homeowner is unaware of. Cutting through electrical wiring or damaging pipes is a dangerous and costly mistake. At the very least, a construction professional should assess the project before moving forward.

Roof Repairs

While roof repairs can seem straightforward, if done incorrectly they can lead to other serious problems like water damage. It is also important to note that if a roof is still under warranty, homeowners can cause the warranty to be voided by working on it themselves.

Another important thing to consider when it comes to roofing is that the work itself can be very dangerous. Roofing is one of the top five most dangerous construction careers with an average of 50 professional roofers falling to their death every year. If it’s hazardous for professionals, DIYers should definitely avoid it.

The DIY movement has opened the door for millions of homeowners to improve their homes without breaking the bank. While many home improvements have great potential to be DIY projects, some jobs need to be left up to professionals. When in doubt, consider the individual project.

Projects that are aesthetic in nature can typically be attempted by a layman; painting, wallpapering, decorative molding and tile-work that doesn’t need to be water-proof are all good options. However, work that affects electrical wiring, gas lines, plumbing or the structure of the home requires at least a consultation with a professional and, in most cases, merits handing over the entire project to the experts.


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